Published: Thu, April 27, 2017
Medical | By Sammy Miller

Illegal pot use increased MORE in states with medical laws

Illegal pot use increased MORE in states with medical laws

But despite the growing competition, Colorado, which saw the highest number of marijuana sales previous year, will more than likely still see higher pot sales than the rest in 2017. At least 15 other states already allow PTSD sufferers to use pot.

They used data from national surveys of drug use among adults (ages ≥18) conducted at three time points: before the enactment of medical marijuana laws (1991-1992); just after the laws were enacted in a few states (2001-2002); and after wide enactment of the laws (2012-2013), when more than one-third of people in the USA lived in states with MMLs.

While a recent poll, conducted by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, indicates 83 percent of Texans support the legal use of medical marijuana for medical purposes, it is debatable whether a poll of 1,200 people reflects the will of anyone other than the 1,200 people who participated in the poll.

"Medical marijuana laws may benefit some with medical problems".

The researchers, led by Deborah Hasin, a Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, looked at data collected in three national surveys on alcohol and drug use from 1991 to 2013.

Twenty-nine states now have medical marijuana laws, and eight states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington - have legalized both medical and recreational cannabis use.

House Bill 2107 deals primarily with medical marijuana.

Survey participants self-reported marijuana use, and researchers noted participants may have been more willing to report use as marijuana became more publicly acceptable.

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Marijuana legalization laws don't appear to increase the use of the drug among teenagers. Almost 120,000 people in 39 states were included in these surveys, according to the study.

"When you are evaluating the effects of a state law on a sample that is not state-representative, it can be misleading", Pacula said.

Over the course of the study period, the rates of illegal marijuana use increased in all 39 states included in the study.

Last November, Nevada, along with California, Maine and MA, voted to join Colorado, Washington, Alaska and OR in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

"America's real-world experience with medical marijuana regulation. finds that cannabis can be legally produced and dispensed in a responsible manner that positively affects the lives of patients, but does not inadvertently or adversely impact overall public health or public safety", Armentano said. The rise in illicit use ranged from 3.5 percent in states without MMLs to 7 percent in states that had legalized medical marijuana.

For example, a 2015 study found opioid overdose deaths and hospital admissions decreased in states after medical marijuana dispensaries opened there.

The nuances of state medical marijuana programs need to be studied so policymakers can balance potential harms and benefits, they said. "In the meantime, it is clear that a robust system of education, prevention, and treatment is needed to minimize the negative consequences that might arise if cannabis use continues to increase".

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